7 Reasons Why Your AdWords Campaigns Aren’t Succeeding

Throughout the years, I’ve worked with many businesses who’ve been dissatisfied with results they’ve seen running AdWords campaigns.  Sometimes, their dissatisfaction stems from a perception issue, while other times, there are legitimate performance problems that need to be addressed.  Either way, there are several common themes I see among these businesses and why their campaigns aren’t performing.  If you’re having issues with campaign performance, chances are it’s due to one of these reasons:

1. You have the wrong expectations

While it’s possible to receive lots of new business immediately with AdWords, campaigns often take several months to ramp up.  Your worst performance will generally be when you first launch.  It takes time, money, and data to optimize appropriately.  If your account has only received a few hundred clicks, or has only been live a few weeks, chances are you don’t yet have enough data to say whether the campaign is successful.

Additionally, keep in mind the length of your sales cycle.  I’ve seen many businesses who were receiving a lot of leads, but were discouraged because they weren’t closing business immediately.  For example, I’ve worked with personal injury attorneys or realtors who were receiving plenty of calls – but these leads took a while to become customers.  But the thing is, in both verticals, the business owner can make thousands from one customer alone – so even if they’ve spent a few hundred to acquire that one customer, it winds up being worth it in the end.

The moral of the story here is to be patient.  Don’t write off AdWords if you’re not closing business hand over fist right away.

2. You don’t know what your goals are – or they conflict with each other

Before launching any campaign, you should understand what you’re trying to accomplish.  Are you trying to bring in leads for the lowest possible cost? Are you trying to raise awareness for your new product or service?  Which goal is most important to you? You should be able to answer these questions.

If your goal is to bring in new customers, you should also know your back-end numbers.  For example, how much do you make, on average, per new customer? What is the lifetime value of a customer? Things like this will help you optimize your campaigns and give you a better idea for how to set your keyword bids.  If you don’t know this information, you’ll just be shooting in the dark – and you won’t have a clear picture of what success looks like for you.

Lastly, you need to make sure your goals don’t conflict.  Of course, everyone wants to bring in leads for the lowest possible cost while simultaneously raising awareness and having their ad appear for every search.  But these goals don’t always align and you need to make sure you have a top priority.

I once had a client who wanted their ad to show all the time, in top positions, but they also wanted to achieve a very cheap cost per lead.  Unfortunately, showing 100% of the time in top positions is costly, and not conducive to receiving cheap leads.  We were at an impasse until the client prioritized and finally chose which goal was most important for their business.

3. You’re not responding to prospects quickly or appropriately enough

This one is simple.

It’s a competitive world out there.  If a new prospect reaches out to you, but you’re not answering the phone, there’s nothing stopping them from calling the next person who shows up in the search results.  Every missed call is a missed opportunity.

Similarly, if a prospect emails you, you should respond ASAP.  The clients I’ve seen who’ve been most successful have always responded to their prospects within a half hour or less.  Even if the prospect isn’t ready to commit, it leaves a good impression when you’re quick to respond – and they’ll be more likely to reach back out when they are ready to seal the deal.

Lastly, make sure who ever is answering your phone is doing so in a professional, friendly manner.  I’ve seen many businesses who answer the phone with a simple “hello” (and not a business greeting), or with a receptionist who was less than enthusiastic.  Something like this is simple but can really make or break your business if you don’t get it right.

4. You have no social proof

This is another simple one that can make or break you.  I generally don’t buy products or services if I can’t verify that the business or product has a good reputation – and I’m not alone in this.

Your landing pages should signal trust to new visitors.  You should display any accreditation clearly.  If you have positive Yelp or FB reviews or other testimonials, include those on your site.  If you have a photo gallery of work you’ve done, include that as well.  The more information you have, the better and more reputable it’ll make you look.  These things could be the nudge someone needs to give your business a call or email.

5. Your campaign settings are suboptimal

If you have #1-4 covered, it could be that somewhere in your campaigns, you have a setting that isn’t working for you and is hurting your conversion rate.

This could be any number of things:

  • Is your business based in NYC, but you’re targeting the whole tri-state area and attracting people who aren’t willing to travel to you?
  • Do you have a keyword that’s run amok and is matching to irrelevant searches?
  • Are you running your campaigns during all hours even though you’re closed during certain days or times?

Take a look at where you’re spending your money and what kind of traffic you’re getting – this will usually clue you in on what might be going wrong with your campaigns.

A trusted agency can also help if you’re having problems in this area.

6. You’re in a high competition market and offering nothing to stand out

Certain industries and markets are more competitive than others. Research what others in your area are offering (perform a quick search for a few of your top keywords).

If everyone in your area is running a new customer special, but you’re running a generic ad with generic selling points – that gives you an idea of why you may be having issues.

If you can’t offer something similar or better than what your competitors are offering – you may have to get creative.  Consider what sets you apart from your competitors and make sure you’re speaking to that in your ads.

7. You’re in an industry that just doesn’t make sense for AdWords

As awesome as AdWords is, there are certain industries it just doesn’t work for.  For example, if you have a really niche product or service, you’re not likely to get any traffic.

It can also be difficult for certain businesses (i.e. restaurants) where it’s difficult to measure success because there aren’t easy ways to measure walk-in conversions (although the technology is improving in this regard).

If you’re having trouble with your AdWords campaigns, I hope this article has given you some hints as to why that might be.  If you’re interested in learning more about AdWords, be sure to join our Facebook group (if you’re not already part of it).

  • January 23, 2018